The Obelisk Presents: Godmaker, Hyborian & Migrator at Saint Vitus Bar (Matinee) Nov. 17

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on October 23rd, 2019 by JJ Koczan

godmaker hyborian migrator ghouls

Alright, let’s face facts. Nov. 17, you weren’t going to be anywhere other than the Saint Vitus Bar. That’s the night Monolord and Blackwater Holylight are playing. Obviously you’re going. Obviously I’m going. Obviously we’re all going and we’re all looking very much forward to that.

What I’m saying to you is, get there early. Super-early. 2PM early. Because there’s an opportunity here to turn a pretty heavy night into an all-day extravaganza, and there’s even a convenient break in between for you to, I don’t know, get some food or coffee-up or do whatever you need to do.

In conjunction with Ode to Doom, The Obelisk (you are here) is presenting Godmaker with (Kenny Appell of Cleanteeth, Goes Cube, etc., filling in on drums), Hyborian and Migrator on Sunday afternoon, Nov. 17, ahead of the evening’s festivities. Is it going to be absolutely insane? Yes. Should you take Monday off from school, work, or whatever of life’s duties might otherwise occupy your time? Totally. Why? Because chances like this don’t come along every day, and years from now, you’re still going to remember that time you told the rest of the universe to buzz off and did it up proper in Brooklyn, whereas otherwise, it’s just gonna be another Monday of the same old crap that, barring disaster, will be another in a series of forgettable such Mondays. Even if you have a good day doing whatever it is you do, I submit it won’t compete with plowing your brains into oblivion with riffs by hitting these two shows back-to-back.

And hey, if you need to, need to, need to go to work or whatever on Monday, a Sunday matinee still gives you plenty of time to get home and get yourself ready for the morning. Either way, you don’t lose.

Godmaker‘s got the show info as follows:

godmaker hyborian migrator new poster

MATINEE SHOW- Godmaker, Hyborian, Migrator.

Sunday, November 17, 2019 at 2 PM – 5:30 PM

Buy tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/matinee-godmaker-hyborian-migrator-tickets-77034092043

Brought to you by our friends at Ode to Doom and The Obelisk.

Godmaker (Brooklyn, Aqualamb / The Company / godmaker.bandcamp.com) returns to bringing the loud, for one last 2019 show, with their midwestern brothers in:

Hyborian (Kansas City, MO / Season of Mist / Company Crüe alumni / hyborianrock.bandcamp.com), and your soon to be favorite Heavy / Sad / Crushing thing from Lawrence, KS —

Migrator / (mem. of Young Bull, Amenaza, The Cast Pattern / migrator.bandcamp.com),

for a special Sunday Matinee at Saint Vitus Bar, ahead of the Monolord / Blackwater Holylight show.

Godmaker, “An Excerpt”

Nov. 17 Matinee Show Event Page on Thee Facebooks

Tickets at Eventbrite

Saint Vitus Bar website

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Live Review: Ode to Doom with Leather Lung, Mother Iron Horse, Somnuri & Grandpa Jack, 09.18.19

Posted in Reviews on September 19th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Leather Lung (Photo by JJ Koczan)

The third anniversary celebration of NYC-based curated show series Ode to Doom was a special occasion. The bands knew it, the venue knew it, and the people who showed up knew it. Everyone who played had new material and was excited to share. Everyone said thanks. The vibe was chill from before the show even started, and even as heavy and as raucous as things got as the bluesy opening Grandpa Jack delivered gave way to the noisier likes of Somnuri, Mother Iron Horse and Leather Lung, it stayed chill for the duration. For being what Somnuri guitarist/vocalist Justin Sherrell referred to as, “a school night” — can’t argue with facts — it was also a welcome escape from midweek blues; all parties involved seemed happy to shed the uphill slump from their shoulders, or maybe that’s just me projecting.

One way or the other, it was the best argument I’ve encountered in a while for sitting in workday-evening traffic. The air was crisp but not bitingly cold. When I signed on three years ago to have The Obelisk be among the presenters for Ode to Doom, which is run with clear dedication by Claudia Crespo at Arlene’s Grocery with input from indomitable entrepreneur Vadim Dyadyuk of Made in Brooklyn Silkscreeners, who’s done merch for this site and will again — new colors coming for the holiday season, plus did I hear you asking for Obelisk sweatpants? no? well they’re happening anyway — part of the appeal for me was nostalgic. I remembered great times at Precious Metal in the basement at Lit Lounge and other Manhattan-based shows. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that it’s all moved to Brooklyn over the last generation and now is headed to Queens, but someone keeping the flame of a Manhattan underground alive felt like an idea well worth preserving. Turns out I was right.

Suitably enough given my recent move, the unstated theme for the evening was NY-meets-MA, with Brooklyn’s Grandpa Jack and Somnuri getting started and Salem, Mass, heavybringers Mother Iron Horse and Boston’s Leather Lung closing the night. If you don’t know Grandpa Jack — and I’ll admit I didn’t hear their self-titled debut LP last year; my loss — give it time. You will. The three-piece turned classic heavy rock shades of doomly purple with vintage tone emanating from the finger-picked guitar of Johnny Strom, who also shared vocal duties with drummer Matt C. White while Jared Schapker provided warm and engrossing low end to suit their blues-infused spirit. Their periodic dips into melody on vocals were welcome and hopefully telling of things to come, and the languid pace of their material brought to mind Radio Moscow played at two-thirds speed, with jammy intent. They were a more than welcome start to the proceedings.

I hadn’t seen Somnuri yet, but was excited to. having so thoroughly dug their late-2017 self-titled debut (discussed here) and subsequent split with fellow purveyors-o’-noise Godmaker (review here). They’ve got a new album mastered as of earlier this month and will cover “Dirt” on Magnetic Eye‘s upcoming Alice in Chains redux (presumably that’s what the cover they posted a snippet of on social media is for, unless they’re just going rogue with it, which might be fun too), and the aforementioned Sherrell, bassist Philippe Arman (also of Tower) and drummer Phil SanGiacomo both brought and demolished the evening’s crowd. The new material had more melody in a post-grunge, still-volatile kind of way that made me really excited to hear it in recorded form, but there was plenty of crushing going on as well, and as wheelhouses go, that’s a good one to be in. I’ll go out on a limb and say that barring disaster this won’t be the last time I see them play, but knowing that and knowing there’s a new record in the offing only made me enjoy their set more. Until next time.

There was time for a quick walk around the block between bands, which beat staring at the baby monitor on my phone — did it? — so I walked out of the venue for a minute to get some air, made it back well in time for Mother Iron Horse, who released their debut, The Lesser Key, in May and who seem primed to get picked up by some label or another if they haven’t yet. Their energy built on what Somnuri had been doing, but their sound was more rock-based, and the double-guitar riffing was complemented by right-on classic-style lead work and excursions into more uproarious stretches. Comprised of Adam Luca, Marco Medina, Devin Fields and Chris Kobialka, they made it easy to get into what they were doing in cuts like “Gehenna” and “Scepter of Ice” from the album, and as they’re on tour with Leather Lung — they’ll play Montclair, NJ’s The Meatlocker tonight, of course with Dutchguts — they started off that run in top form with what was still a good crowd who stuck around after Somnuri‘s set. Another band I’d never seen before, another one I’ll try to see again. That’s three for three on the night so far at Ode to Doom.

By contrast, I had seen Leather Lung before, but it was upwards of four years ago in Boston and they’ve got a new record out through Magnetic Eye called Lonesome, On’ry and Evil that produced the set-highlight “Miscreant,” which perfectly summarized the band’s approach rooted in mosh-ready riffs and massive aggro-sludge tones. Coming out to the familiar strains of Waylon Jennings, frontman Mike Vickers had apparently busted his arm and had it in a sling. He left the audience to guess how he’d done it, so insert here whatever pulled-a-ligament hyperbole you’d like to about him lifting the riffs of guitarist Zach and lumbering bass of Jesse — whose backing vocals also added a sense of extremity throughout the set. Set to the crash of drummer Ben, Leather Lung‘s willfully lunkheaded sludge metal was nothing short of a hit on a Wednesday night in Manhattan, which if that doesn’t sound like an accomplishment absolutely was one. Dudes up front lost their mind, and even standing in the back, beat as I was, the groove was palpable. And by “palpable” I mean shaking the floor. They’re going to kill at Descendants of Crom this weekend in Pittsburgh.

So what did we learn? I hadn’t planned on sticking around through the entirety of Leather Lung‘s set, as I’d been up since 4AM and knew I still had the drive back to my ancestral homestead ahead of me, but I did, and so did a lot of others who no doubt had trains, Ubers, hoverboards or Citibikes to catch. And I won’t take away from what Leather Lung were doing, but the vibe of the whole night was a big part of what kept me there. It felt like I had showed up to a party three years late and still been welcomed. That’s a rare thing.

More pics after the jump. Thanks for reading.

Read more »

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The Obelisk Presents: Ode to Doom with Geezer, Grass, Slush & The Ancient Stone, March 20 in Manhattan

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on March 13th, 2019 by JJ Koczan

Ode to Doom is coming up on three years of presenting shows on the regular at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan, and I’m proud to have had this site associated with it more or less since the outset. Claudia Crespo, who runs Freebird Productions, has been putting together killer lineups all the while and on March 20 — next week, y’all — she’ll present GeezerGrassThe Ancient Stone and Slush for a four-bands-on-a-weeknight bill the likes of which will make you want to take the next day off.

The kings of Kingston, Geezer headline as they support their recently issued Spiral Fires EP (review here), and they’re joined at the top of the bill by Grass, whose demo has been making the rounds of interwebular hyperbole. The Ancient Stone open and Slush follow shortly thereafter as the night gets a reasonably early start at 7:30, all very civilized, all very heavy. It’ll be a good time.

When Ode to Doom started, I thought part of the appeal was that it was a reminder of 10-15 years ago before Brooklyn took over as New York’s creative hub — I guess Queens is next? wait till the craft-brew crowd takes Weehawken — but at this point, Ode to Doom has built its own community and made its own impact, true to the history of the basement barroom shows of yore, but consistently admirable most of all for its forward-thinking nature.

Bottom line, I guess is it’s worth getting off your ass and going. I don’t say that about everything, but the truth is Manhattan needs less couture and more culture and this is how that happens. Support creative work.

Info follows:

ode to doom flyers

March 20 – Ode To Doom W/ Geezer, Slush, Grass, & The Ancient Stone

DOORS AT 7!!!
The Ancient Stone at 7:30
Slush at 8:30
Geezer at 9:30
Grass at 10:30

Flyer by Ritual Design.

Geezer, Spiral Fires (2019)

Ode to Doom on Thee Facebooks

Ode to Doom event page on Thee Facebooks

Tickets at Arlene’s Grocery website

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The Obelisk Presents: Ode to Doom in Manhattan on Nov. 24 with Heavy Temple, Fox 45, Nine Layers Deep and Sabba

Posted in The Obelisk Presents on November 19th, 2018 by JJ Koczan

ode to doom nov 24 lineup

My general tack in talking about gender on this site is not to. I try not to post album art that has shitty objectification of women on it, and if I think something is outwardly misogynist, I’ll say so one way or another, but I cringe when I see male writers and PR people and labels using tags like “female-fronted,” etc., and I usually try to mention it as little as humanly possible. I don’t know if the method is politically sound or what — I’d have to talk to my theorist wife about it, and she’s sleeping at the moment — but the way I see it something can’t be normalized while still being made exotic. That is, when a band has three or four dudes in it, one doesn’t call them “male-fronted.” Women in bands is a thing that happens. The proportions as relates to the general population are ridiculous — see: shitty misogyny, above — but I try not to position lady-inclusion in my writing as something abnormal, because it isn’t something abnormal and it shouldn’t be treated that way. I don’t expect or want or think I deserve kudos for that, and fuck you heartily if you think I’m saying this to be self-righteous.

I’ve been sort of loosely involved in presenting Ode to Doom at Arlene’s Grocery in NYC for a little over two years. I signed on initially because I liked the idea of someone still putting on underground heavy shows in Manhattan where so much of that business seems to have migrated to Brooklyn during the course of the last decade-plus. Claudia Crespo, who is the promoter behind the series, is well beyond admirable for her dedication to the cause, and the events she has curated have highlighted some of the finest in heavy that the Eastern Seaboard has to offer, from groups like Geezer to Tarpit Boogie to Eternal Black and Shadow Witch and on and on. It’s awesome, to be blunt, and the next one is a special lineup along the lines alluded-to above, so yeah, it seemed well worth an extra plug to me.

I know this week is Thanksgiving and that people will be recovering this week from the holiday, but if you, like me, have found spiritual restoration in riff form, I’ve no doubt you’ll find it again Saturday night at Arlene’s with Heavy Temple, Fox 45, Nine Layers Deep and Sabba on a reasonably early bill.

Dig the info:

ode to doom nov 24 poster

Next up, an all female-fronted Ode to Doom, with #Sabba, Nine Layers Deep, Fox 45, and Heavy Temple @ Arlene’s Grocery!!! Save the date, November 24th!! Doors open at 6:30, show kicks off at 7!! Flyer by Ritual Design!

Sabba at 7
Nine Layers Deep at 8
Fox 45 at 9
Heavy Temple at 10

Claudia Crespo on Nov. 24 Ode to Doom:

I’ve been doing Ode for a little over two years now and this one coming up on the 24th has been marinating in my mind for some time now, really about a year. I find the growing number of women in the metal scene (particularly in the Doom Community) only getting larger, stronger, and more in your face (which is a great thing). With groups like The Doom Hag, it was only a matter a time when I felt a show like the one coming up was wanted or maybe even a little needed. I’m super proud and stoked to support that.

Ode to Doom Nov. 24 event page

Ode to Doom on Thee Facebooks

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GIVEAWAY: Win a Signed Copy of Fox 45’s Ashes of Man LP!

Posted in Features, The Obelisk Presents on October 20th, 2016 by JJ Koczan

fox-45-ashes-of-man-giveaway

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Free signed record. Boom. Post over. Who said I wasn’t a salesman?

Oh wait. I say that. All the time. And while that’s true, I honestly don’t think it should take much convincing to get you on board with entering this giveaway for an LP copy of Fox 45‘s Ashes of Man hand-signed by the Rochester four-piece. Their debut album following a 2014 EP, it was released earlier this year via Twin Earth Records.

You can stream the record in full via the label’s Bandcamp below, and for giveaways I like to keep the posts pretty short — in hope that people will, you know, actually read them — but I’ll say that while it took me a little time to catch onto Ashes of Man, the band do make a striking debut. Raw in the spirit of grunge but unafraid to indulge a bit of boogie on a song like “Coup d’Etwat” — only one of several clever wordplay titles — or some doom on “Snake Oil,” it preaches righteously in a manner that the converted should have no problem hearing.

ode-to-doom-nov-16Particularly when it’s coming in the form of FREE FRICKIN’ SIGNED VINYL, so get on that.

Fox 45 will join Eternal Black, Clouds Taste Satanic and Goat Wizard at the second Ode to Doom show presented by Freebird Productions and The Obelisk at Arlene’s Grocery in Manhattan on Nov. 16, 2016.

You can find more info about the gig at the link below, which will open in a new tab. That’s convenient because you can still enter this giveaway; something I cannot encourage you enough to do.

Thanks to all who participate, to the band, to Ode to Doom and to Twin Earth Records. Winner will be picked at random one week from today and contacted at the email provided, which of course will never be shared. One more time, the prize is a signed copy of Fox 45‘s Ashes of Man on vinyl.

[TO ENTER GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment on this post with your email address in the form. You’ll be contacted at that address if you win.]

Fox 45, Ashes of Man (2016)

Fox 45 on Thee Facebooks

Twin Earth Records on Bandcamp

Ode to Doom at Arlene’s Grocery, NYC, Nov. 16 event page

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